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County of Santa Clara to Host Information and Resources Workshop for Homeless Victims of Domestic Violence

InnVision Shelter Network Partners with County Collaborative to Provide Information and Services to Vulnerable Population
WHAT:
The County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy and the Domestic Violence Information and Resources Collaborative are gathering representatives from County agencies and community based organizations for a workshop to assist homeless domestic violence or sexual abuse victims and their families. Participants will learn how to navigate the court system, and how to obtain legal assistance and protection for the victims. Services include around-the-clock crisis hotlines, social services, housing and emergency shelters, immigration, legal, mental health and substance abuse counseling, as well as LGBTQ resources. 
 
WHO:
County of Santa Clara
County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy
Domestic Violence Information and Resources Collaborative
InnVision Shelter Network Georgia Travis Center
Local experts from the courts, domestic violence agencies and law enforcement
Homeless Victims of domestic violence, family members, friends, or coworkers of someone in a dangerous or abusive situation
Community members willing to take actions against domestic violence
Participants interested in law, social work, psychology or other related fields who want to learn the process of reporting and getting help for victims
 
WHEN:
Thursday, May 30, 2013, 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
 
WHERE:
InnVision Shelter Network Georgia Travis Center, 297 Commercial Street, San José, CA 95112
 
WHY:
According to the 2011 Santa Clara County Homeless Census and Survey Comprehensive Report, 15% of the female homeless population reported experiencing domestic violence, and 6 % of those were living with at least one child under the age of 18.
 
The County of Santa Clara Domestic Violence Information and Resources Collaborative will focus its efforts on this population and promote resources and information that the County has to offer.  Several public and community agencies will attend this workshop, including the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy, Superior Court, Juvenile Dependency Court, the Dependency Advocacy Center, Family & Children Services, First 5, the Probation Department, as well as representatives from emergency housing and legal services.  Victims of domestic violence in Santa Clara County are encouraged to call (800) 799-SAFE (7233), where a confidential advocate may help them. 
 
DISCLAIMER: To protect participants’ confidentiality, this workshop is only open to County residents and counselors. Media representatives are encouraged to interview coordinators prior to the event.
 
Available for interviews, prior to event:
Julie Ramirez, Office of Women’s Policy and Workshop coordinator (408) 299-5135
 
No registration is necessary. Refreshments, child care and translation will be offered at no cost to participants. For more information, call (408) 299-5135 or email owp@ceo.sccgov.org  
 
 
Background
 
Each year there are thousands of calls made to the police for assistance in domestic violence incidents in Santa Clara County. In 2012, law enforcement officers referred approximately 3,962 non-lethal cases of domestic violence to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office for review. The Office of the District Attorney filed charges in 2,259 cases (1,849 misdemeanors and 410 felonies). Santa Clara County’s family courts issued 1,996 domestic violence restraining orders in 2012. This means hundreds of survivors went to criminal and family court, a large majority of those survivors self-represented in family court, to obtain safety for themselves and their children.
 
During 2012, there were 9 domestic violence related deaths. Three of the 9 cases included a domestic violence suspect who committed suicide. This is a decrease from the 17 domestic violence related deaths in 2011, which was the largest number of deaths in Santa Clara County since 2003. There were 144 domestic violence related deaths in the County from 2000-2012.
 
 
About the Domestic Violence Information and Resources Collaborative:
 
As funding for domestic violence community education and prevention continues to dwindle, the Superior Courts, led by Judge Erica Yew, engaged a small group of volunteer stakeholders to organize a series of public workshops to provide basic information to community members in the hopes that potential victims of domestic violence could learn more about how the system works and how to connect with help and resources. 
 
Since fall 2007, the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy has partnered with the Superior Court to provide coordination and support to the Domestic Violence Information and Resources Collaborative and its initiatives.
 
The DVIR Collaborative currently includes the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy, the Superior Court, the Office of the District Attorney, the Sheriff’s Department, the Probation Department, South Bay Labor Council, the Domestic Violence Intervention Collaborative and over 50 service providers and agencies assisting victims of domestic violence.
 
The collaborative has hosted nearly 30 workshops with agencies and services providers who may help the community understand and navigate the system to better assist victims of domestic violence.  Outreach has expanded to underserved communities. Attendance has grown from approximately 60 participants and providers to more than 200 in the most recent workshops.
 
 
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119; Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Office of Women’s Policy (408) 299-5142; Julie Ramirez, Office of Women’s Policy and Workshop coordinator (408) 299-5135
Posted: May 15, 2013